PRINCE2 7 – A Process of Evolution

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on November 14, 2023

As the foremost project management best practice method globally, PRINCE2 7 must adapt to the dynamic nature of contemporary times.

The business landscape is evolving at an accelerated pace, emphasizing the growing need for agility. This emphasis enables organizations to respond promptly and effectively to developments, facilitating a swift change of direction when necessary.

The feedback received from the community underscored the imperative for a heightened emphasis on the human aspects of any project. Culture, collaboration, and communications emerge as pivotal components for project success, and the updated guidance duly acknowledges this by integrating “people” as the fifth element of PRINCE2 7.

However, the new version explicitly incorporates incremental, agile, and interactive delivery methods into the methodology. This renders PRINCE2 even more adaptable and tailorable than its predecessor.

PRINCE2 7, being a universal method applicable to all project types, acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ensure project outcomes. It recognizes that neither agile, waterfall, nor hybrid delivery methods exclusively hold the key to success. Instead, PRINCE2 7 provides guidance and scenarios, empowering project managers to assess and choose the most suitable delivery method for their specific project. It boasts complete flexibility, allowing the integration of any delivery method or combination thereof into the PRINCE2 governance framework.

The 7 processes of PRINCE2 – out with the old?

Since the 2009 edition, PRINCE2 has maintained seven core processes, a reduction from eight in the 2005 version.

Based on feedback from practitioners affirming the efficacy of these processes, PRINCE2 7 preserves the same seven processes. However, the chapters in the book dedicated to each process have undergone substantial revision, presenting a new format for enhanced clarity and understanding.

Each process chapter is presented in eight paragraphs in PRINCE2 7. The initial two paragraphs cover the purpose and objectives, aligning with the structure of the 6th edition. The third paragraph delves into the context, revealing distinctions as each process is elucidated within the framework of other related processes and activities. Notably, the new version streamlines the content by eliminating the table that previously detailed every applicable management product (document) along with its inputs and outputs for each process. This change aims at enhancing simplicity.

In place of the removed table, the new version incorporates a high-level overview in the Appendix. This overview outlines the responsibilities of each management product and its correlation with the related processes, providing a concise reference for users.

The section outlining how to use and apply each process in PRINCE2 7 maintains similarities with the previous version but has undergone streamlining for enhanced clarity. Notably, each process chapter concludes with two entirely new paragraphs. A notable addition is the inclusion of a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) table in each chapter, outlining the responsibilities associated with each process activity. Key roles in PRINCE2, such as the project manager, project executive, senior user, and senior supplier, are listed, mapping the process activities against each role.

The final segment of each chapter is dedicated to the application of practices, a novel inclusion. This section provides a clear summary of how each practice supports the activities within each process, offering valuable insights into the practical implementation of PRINCE2 principles.

Other changes to the processes

Though the fundamental processes remain unchanged, several minor amendments have been introduced in PRINCE2 7 to enhance clarity and ensure overall consistency. Various concepts have undergone rewriting to facilitate comprehension and eliminate unnecessary details.

An illustrative example can be found in the Initiating a Project stage. Previously, the manual listed all activities required to create management approaches (such as risk, change, and quality management) in detail. In the new version, the manual now succinctly highlights the necessity to create these management approaches without delving into exhaustive details. Additionally, diagrams and figures employed throughout the guide to depict key concepts have been redesigned and color-coded for improved visual clarity.

The human element in PRINCE2 7

The alterations made to the processes in PRINCE2 7 signify an evolution rather than a revolution. The explanations have been simplified, intending to make them more accessible for those who are new to the method.

The significant shift in this new edition is the heightened emphasis on the human element. Recognizing that written reports and documentation may not always be the optimal solution, the focus is on effectively conveying information—whether through documents, software tools, instant messaging, or conversations. A noteworthy addition is the recognition of the need for ongoing, informal communication, marking a new and important feature in the guidance.

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